A 12-year-old girl in Norway has put the problem of child marriage on the map after her blog went viral.
‘Thea’ documented her feelings online about becoming the bride to a 37-year-old man named Geir, reports The Independent.
Because there has been a lot of confusion about 'Thea' up to this point, it is important to get one thing out of the way early: There is no Thea. The blog was reportedly the brainchild of an international aid organization called Plan, which is committed to drawing attention to the controversial issue.
“We really wanted to bring home the issue and by creating a shock factor, we think we have really got peoples’ attention,” said Plan’s country director Olaf Thommessen. “We have all kinds of people engaging, people who are not usually motivated or involved in these kinds of things – the response has been immense.”
The blog, which can be read here, has reportedly received more than 500,000 views already. ‘Thea’ appears on the blog wearing a traditional white wedding gown she plans to wear when she weds on Oct. 11, which also happens to be the United Nation’s Day of the Girl Child. She writes in detail about how is scared to have sex and realizes her mother wants her to have her own children soon.
Thommessen says images of a Swedish girl in Norway were used on the blog because they weren’t sure how long the blog would remain a secret.
In Norway, a 12-year-old would never be able to get married. However, as noted by CTV News, in places like Niger or Bangladesh the majority of girls are married off before their 18th birthday.
The UN estimates that 39,000 female children get married each day.
Concerned readers can become involved in the campaign by signing a petition and sponsoring a young girl through Plan’s website to ensure she receives financial assistance if she does not get married.
Photo Credit: The Independent